Did you know that at 10°C, a temperature lower than room temperature, bacteria on your food can double every fifteen minutes? Therefore, ensuring that your frozen foods are being appropriately handled across all stages, from buying to storage and thawing, will prevent bacteria from breeding in your kitchen.
When it comes to frozen foods, it is essential to know proper handling methods to ensure freshness. The appropriate handling of your frozen foods in the kitchen is vital to protect it from any contamination. Here are ten tips for handling frozen food.
When shopping for frozen foods in the mall, leave them until the end of your shopping to add it to your trolley so that it doesn’t start defrosting. When you get home, cook it right away or store it in the freezer immediately.
If possible, transport frozen foods from the market to your home using a cool box. Other materials such as padded cool bags, fleece jackets, or fleece blankets are also ideal. In addition, make sure that your frozen products are tightly packed.
Carefully read and understand the manufacturer’s cooking and handling instructions for the frozen foods to ensure that it retains its best quality.
When thawing, leave the food in its packaging to avoid cross-contamination and stop the food from drying out. For instance, chicken juices shouldn’t come in contact with other foods.
Some frozen foods can be cooked as soon as you bring them out from the freezer without thawing. For instance, EB Frozen Food’s star product, Small Leaf Prawn Paste allows you to cook from frozen. If thawing is needed, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best out of it.
Frozen vegetables are healthy. After harvesting, they are blast frozen immediately while all the vitamins and other nutrients are still intact. Blast freezing your vegetables will retain its nutrients for a long time. Fresh vegetables often lose their nutrients during long transportation routes. When they’re frozen, the valuable nutrients remain intact. Therefore, ensure that you keep your freshly bought vegetables frozen if you aren’t going to use them immediately.
Take out only the required amount of frozen food you need to eat at a time. When buying and storing food in the freezer, ensure that your food is split into smaller portions, enough to satisfy you per serving, to make thawing easier later.
If you still have some leftover from a meal cooked with frozen food, it can be frozen and defrosted at another time. However, ensure that you heat the food thoroughly before eating.
When defrosting your frozen food items, take it out from the freezer and allow it to defrost slowly in the refrigerator. The coldness from the frozen food will be absorbed by the fridge, thereby helping you save energy. Defrosting food in the refrigerator also slows down the formation of bacteria due to low temperatures.
However, keep in mind that defrosting food in the refrigerator takes longer than defrosting at room temperature. Therefore, if you’re going to allow your food to defrost slowly in the refrigerator, do it long before you start cooking.
When you freeze your food, make sure that the packaging is sealed tightly. When buying frozen foods from the supermarket, check to ensure that the packaging is sealed thoroughly to avoid freezer burn.
Finally, when it comes to meat, ensure that you heat it immediately after thawing. Moreover, do not thaw frozen foods by dunking them in the sink or bowl of water.
If you have limited time for thawing, use a microwave. Again, cook immediately after thawing with a microwave. To know more about your favorite frozen foods in Malaysia, including halal frozen food, feel free to get in touch with us.